MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) I took a look at the multiplayer portion of Doom during the open beta they held earlier this year, but now I’ve had a chance to get my hands on the more anticipated half of the game: the single player campaign.
The first thing you notice about the campaign is that it drops you into the action immediately and almost never lets up. Within the first minute of starting, you’re already fighting demons. The controls in Doom move at an incredibly fast pace, which can take a while for you to get used to. Once you get used to the speed, the combat flows extremely well.
There are several systems in place in the game that focus on forcing the player to be more aggressive. Doom doesn’t have regenerating health like many modern first person shooters. Instead, you get health primarily by performing melee kills on your enemies. This forces you rush headlong into the fray while you’re at low health, ignoring your instincts to hide and take out monsters from a distance.
Standing still in Doom tends to be a death sentence, and the arenas you fight in give you plenty of room to run around and find a way to gain an advantage on your enemy. The levels have so much verticality, and that does a great job to make the combat more chaotic without losing the precision required to succeed in battle.
The levels themselves are gorgeously designed combination of cold space station and gory hellscape as the demons of Hell invade the futuristic version of Mars you play it. It’s a perfect mix that’s rendered beautifully. The design of the stages is also different from many modern games, with a focus on nonlinearity. It finds ways to guide you subtly in order to make you feel like you stumbled upon the secret to the maze.
Speaking of secrets, Doom is full of them. Each level is packed with hidden items, some unlocking abilities or upgrades, some even giving you the opportunity to stages from the original Doom games. This encourages you to take some time after you clear out the enemies and really explore the interesting world that the developers have created.
Overall, Doom is one of my favorite games of the year. It’s fast-paced, challenging and right in my wheelhouse. There are so many military first person shooters now that it’s a welcome change of pace to see a different, exciting setting with action that is a perfect blend of strategy and improvisation.